It’s 4am, and you peek out the door. In the darkness, you can see them lining up already. Stamping their feet to keep warm, clutching their cappuccinos in mittened hands. Soon they will be inside…some smiling, some grumbling and all vying for your attention. Yes, it is Black Friday, and the holiday shopping season is upon us.
The holidays are a blessing and a curse for sales professionals. On the one hand, the season offers tremendous opportunity to increase sales and commissions. The festive atmosphere seems to make people that much more likely to open their wallets. On the other hand, you have to deal with the crowds, the long hours, the un-merry and their equally unhappy children. To keep sane in the face of holiday madness, try these survival tips.
Keep hydrated: Nothing will turn you into a Grinch faster than being dehydrated. Many times, thirst masks itself as hunger or fatigue. Keep pumping in those liquids, and you will feel better all day long. Just be sure you are drinking the right stuff. Guzzling coffee and caffeinated sodas can set you up to crash and burn. Try water, flavored water or sports drinks instead.
Keep smiling: Studies show that smiling can actually uplift your spirits. It can also diffuse grumpy customers looking for a reason to be angry. So wear that smile all day long. Fake it if you must, but be sure it doesn’t come across as patronizing.
Keep rested: It’s hard to be happy if all you want to do is crawl under the counter and take a nap. Sure, there are parties to attend, family to see and 5am sales to wake up for. However, do yourself—and your customers—a favor and try to get at least 8 hours of zzz’s a night.
Keep perspective: So Mrs. Cranky Pants just told you to stick it where the sun don’t shine. That can hurt—especially if you are new to the sales trade. Don’t take rejection personal. Remember that she is probably over-tired, over-spent and over-stimulated. You were an easy target for her to take out her frustration that the sugar cookies burnt in the oven that afternoon. Just take your smile and move on to the next customer.
Keep sane: When you think you are about to go mad from hearing 462 versions of Jingle Bells played on a continuous loop 24/7, remember that this too shall pass. It is one short month of madness that can make or break your year depending on your type of sales. So Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Seasons Greetings or whatever else floats your boat!
Stop by SalesHeads to find your perfect holiday job. There is money to be made this month, and you don’t want to let it pass you by!
Maryalene LaPonsie is an accomplished writer who has extensive experience reporting on education, career advancement and workforce development topics. She specializes in sales and marketing consultation as well as general copywriting services.